Saturday, March 2, 2024

Facebook and Instagram owner Meta to lay off another 10,000 staff globally

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Meta is to cut 10,000 additional jobs and will close around 5,000 open roles that it has yet to fill in another round of cuts aiming to make the tech giant leaner.

The world’s largest social networking company already made a 13% reduction in staff numbers in November. In its earlier round of cuts, Meta slashed 11,000 workers in what was its first-ever major layoff. The layoffs included 350 workers in Ireland.

The Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp owner had a global headcount of 86,482 at the end of 2022, up 20% from a year ago. The company employs approximately 3,000 in Ireland largely based in Dublin. Meta also operates a data centre in Clonee and a research lab based in Cork.

In a post on Facebook today, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the new cuts would take place over the coming months with longer timelines for international teams.

“This will be tough and there’s no way around that. It will mean saying goodbye to talented and passionate colleagues who have been part of our success,” he said.

The layoffs are part of a wider restructuring at Meta that will see the company flatten its organisational structure, cancel lower-priority projects and reduce its hiring rates as part of the move. The news sent Meta’s shares were up 5% in early trading today on the back of the news.

A spokesperson for Meta in Ireland said they had nothing to add beyond the post by Zuckerberg.

Reacting to Meta’s decision Tánaiste Micheál Martin said it is a huge blow to any person who loses their job and to their family. However, he said the job cuts needed to be put into perspective.

“Employment went up dramatically in the last two years in the technology sector, I think by 29,000,” he told the Irish Examiner in New York while on a trip to the US as part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

“There’s been about 2,300 jobs lost..so basically, there was a massive growth in two years, so therefore, we have to keep that in perspective.”

“The other key point is every company we’ve met for the last two years, in the context of working with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland have said labour shortages are a big issue so we would like to think that there is some capacity within the sector, within the industry to absorb those who may lose their jobs.”

Specific details of where the job cuts will be located have not been released. Zuckerberg said leaders will announce restructuring plans shortly focused on flattening the organisation, cancelling lower priority projects and reducing hiring rates. Staff on Meta’s recruitment teams are expected to be immediately impacted.

“We expect to announce restructurings and layoffs in our tech groups in late April, and then our business groups in late May,” Zuckerberg said.

“In a small number of cases, it may take through the end of the year to complete these changes. Our timelines for international teams will also look different, and local leaders will follow up with more details.”

Globally, the tech industry has laid off more than 280,000 workers since the start of 2022, with about 40% of them coming this year, according to layoffs tracking site layoffs.fyi.

Google, Twitter, Yahoo and Stripe have all implemented reductions in staff headcounts including staff located in Ireland.

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